NAR Approves Sweeping New Fair Housing Action Plan
© National Association of REALTORS®
The 2020 NAR Leadership Team meets with HUD’s secretary. From left: President-elect Charlie Oppler, President Vince Malta, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, CEO Bob Goldberg, Immediate Past President John Smaby, First Vice President Leslie Rouda Smith, Vice President of Association Affairs Mabél Guzmán, and Vice President of Advocacy Christine Hansen.
Expect the National Association of REALTORS® to have a louder voice on fair housing issues this year. NAR approved a new fair housing action plan on Wednesday that focuses on greater accountability and training for agents.
After passing the new plan, NAR leaders met with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and other senior department officials to develop a plan to further advance fair housing protections. NAR and HUD agreed to work jointly on public service announcements and other proactive initiatives to communicate the importance of fair housing access to the public.
NAR’s new initiative—abbreviated “ACT” to emphasize accountability, culture change, and training—seeks to ensure that the nation’s 1.4 million REALTORS® are working to protect the housing rights of consumers. Among its new efforts, NAR vowed a commitment to integrating fair housing into all of its conferences and events and to form partnerships with fair housing advocates to pursue shared goals around accountability and training.
“NAR’s Code of Ethics and its adherence to fair housing are the cornerstone of our commitment as REALTORS®,” says NAR CEO Bob Goldberg. “With this new plan, we will see more robust education focusing on core fair housing criteria, unconscious bias, and how the actions of REALTORS® impact communities. A partnership with government officials and fair housing advocates will allow us to further promote equality as we continue to work to diversify our industry.”
Just hours before the meeting with HUD, NAR’s leadership unanimously voted to approve ACT.
“NAR has been active in our pursuit of innovative new policies and partnerships that will help us preserve the fundamental right of housing in America,” says NAR President Vince Malta, who also met with HUD officials on Wednesday. “While we have long been a champion of the Fair Housing Act, recent incidents have underscored the progress our nation must still make.”
NAR’s New Fair Housing Action Plan
NAR’s new ACT plan features some of the following commitments to fair housing:
- Work closely with state association executives to ensure that state licensing laws include effective fair housing training requirements and hold real estate professionals accountable for their fair housing obligations.
- Launch a public service announcement campaign that reaffirms NAR’s commitment to fair housing and how consumers can report problems.
- Integrate fair housing into all REALTOR® conferences and engagements (to include a fair housing theme throughout the May Midyear Meeting).
- Explore the creation of a voluntary self-testing program in partnership with a fair housing organization as a resource for brokers and others who want confidential reports on agent practices so they can address problems.
- Create more robust fair housing education, including unconscious-bias training and education on how the actions of REALTORS® shape communities.
- Conduct a national study to determine what factors motivate discrimination in sales markets.
- Profile leaders who exemplify the best fair housing practices and workplace diversity.
- Develop materials to help REALTORS® provide consumers with information on schools that avoids fair housing pitfalls.